By Gerard Ramos / Lifesteyle and Entertainment Editor
WIDELY known in recent years as “The Master Showman,” and more simply as “Kuya Germs” in and out of show business for the better part of his long-running career, German Moreno passed away at 3:20 a.m. on Friday, at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City where he was rushed following a heart failure.
He was 82.
The entertainment icon’s death came a year after he suffered a stroke. He took several months off hosting his long-running weekly late-night program Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman on GMA television network, to
convalesce, returning to the show only last June.
John Nite, Moreno’s nephew and cohost in Walang Tulugan, announced the showbiz veteran’s passing in a statement he sent to GMA News Online.
“He passed on in the company of his family and friends. He lived a full life, touched so many hearts through the years, and helped make dreams come true for most of the biggest stars in the Philippine entertainment industry,” he said. “We are deeply saddened by his passing but we are comforted by the thought that his legacy will live on.”
GMA Network Inc., the media giant that has been home to German Moreno for decades, issued the following statement:
“GMA Network deeply mourns with the entire entertainment industry the passing of our beloved German ‘Kuya Germs’ Moreno. The Master Showman will be greatly missed by his friends and fans both here and abroad, especially those in show business, where he devoted the best years of his life. Kuya Germs was responsible for building the careers of the biggest stars we now have. The epitome of a loyal Kapuso, his dedication to the industry will serve as an inspiration to all. We pray for his eternal repose.”
In the 1980s, That’s Entertainment, his top-rating daily program on GMA, trained the spotlight on a gaggle of aspiring unknown young talents, providing them with a national platform on which to shine. These included Judy Ann Santos, Lea Salonga, Manilyn Reynes, Janno Gibbs, Gladys Reyes, Billy Crawford, Donna Cruz, Ramon Christopher and Lotlot de Leon.
Tweeted Salonga: “RIP, Kuya Germs. And thank you. #ThursdayGroup.”
Mikee Cojuango-Jaworski also said on the social-media platform: “Rest in peace, Kuya Germs. What an amazing contribution this man made. Prayers for his family and the loved ones he left behind.”
On Instagram, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid posted a photo of German Moreno with this caption: “Thank you Kuya Germs we will miss you. ‘You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.’ Matthew 5:14.”
German Moreno began his entertainment career as a janitor and curtain-raiser in Clover Theater in the 1950s. He went on to appear in a slew of bodabil productions and made the transition into films in Sampaguita Pictures. Apart from his flamboyant suits, German Moreno was known for his kindness and loyalty.
Upon learning of the veteran entertainer’s death, Alden Richards, who was in Dubai for his first-ever show in a UAE destination, tweeted: “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving, that’s Kuya Germs. Rest in peace ’Tay.”